They brought reggae band UB40 to Kerikeri to a sell-out gig at the beginning of the year and now the owners of Kainui Road Vineyard are planning other concerts from October.
Jackie Sanders, the promoter who brought UB40 to New Zealand as part of the Red Red Wine Tour, said she isn't in a position to name the headline band she is negotiating with "but it's a biggie". In fact she's in discussion with several international acts.
"They are all big names and much depends on their availability and whether they can fit us in as part of a wider tour," she said.
In the meantime the vineyard is kicking off the summer season of music featuring local Kiwi talent with what they are calling the Cellar Door Sessions. The showband Modern Maori Quartet (MMQ) will headline for a Saturday concert at Labour Weekend. They completed a four-city tour of the United Kingdom in June and on the way home did a show at PJ Live Arts Performing Centre in Malaysia and at the Hard Rock Caf in Sentosa, Singapore.
At Kainui Road they will be supported by local singer, songwriter and instrumentalist Troy Kingi, relatively fresh from his filmic portrayal of TK in Taika Waititi's The Hunt For The Wilderpeople. Joining the line-up is Taylah Barker from Kerikeri. The singer and song-writer is a familiar face as a solo artist and front singer for various bands around the Far North and is currently working on her first EP.
The first concert staged at Kainui Road featured Australian songstress Renee Geyer in January 2014. Since then the vineyard had major earthmoving work last year to enhance the natural amphitheatre on the sloping hillside surrounds and to cater for a maximum of 5000 concert-goers expected for January next year.
Owners Alan and Helen Thompson are joined in the vineyard and promotions business by daughter Anna and son-in-law Gary Henwood.